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Letter to the Editor: EHS Cheerleaders Dispensable?

By NIKIE STOKES
Cleveland

Editor,

Are Emery High Cheerleaders dispensable? If you would have been to the Emery High basketball game on Fri., Jan. 27, you probably would have been able to see. The Cheerleaders were in their place in front of the student body leading the crowd just as they are at all the games. A referee runs down the court and takes out one of the cheerleaders. She went flying and was injured. Another cheerleader came to her rescue and carried her off the court to safety. She wasn't just pushed down by a man twice her size she was really injured. Her ankle was severely sprained. The referee did not even acknowledge the incident, say he was sorry or show the least bit of concern, contrary to the UHSAA officials code of conduct which states that officials should "Constantly uphold the honor and dignity of the avocation in all personal conduct and relations with the student athletes, coaches, athletic directors, school administrators, colleagues and public; to be a worthy example to the athletes under one's jurisdiction."

Other than her cheer advisors no one came to see if she was alright or to check on her in anyway. The cheerleaders are the girls that support every other sport at Emery High. They make posters, they give treats, they decorate buses, they practice all summer and every weekday for two hours. Are the cheerleaders dispensable? All evidence points to yes,

Editors note: In speaking with Emery High School principal Gwen Callahan, she said, "We never want anyone to get hurt, those girls work their hearts out. The official told them twice to move back and the official is responsible for the play on the floor. After the incident, the official made the cheerleaders move to one end of the gym. We have never had a cheerleader hurt before. We don't want to move the cheerleaders and we have taken provisions to stop it from happening again. We have asked that noone sit or stand on the first two benches of the Spartan Center so the cheerleaders can see better."

The cheer coach checked on the cheerleader and got ice for the injury. School administration said they checked with the cheer coach on the condition of the cheerleader which was the chain of command they deemed appropriate in this incident. School administrators do not feel the official intentionally knocked the girl down. It is not known why a personal apology from the official didn't take place.

"We love our cheerleaders if one of them gets hurt our first response is to find out if an ambulance is needed. Just to make sure everything is OK. These girls put in a lot of time and it is unfortunate and not something we like to see happen," said Callahan.





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